Video Games / Platform / Xbox360

The Best So Far, But Not Yet Great – Game of Thrones Ep4: Sons of Winter Review

The Best So Far, But Not Yet Great – Game of Thrones Ep4: Sons of Winter Review

TellTale’s Game of Thrones series has been their weakest work since Jurassic Park, but there’s always been a since of hidden potential just waiting to burst through. The firs three episodes have plodded around, often looking for a real direction, with the intention of setting the pieces into places. Episode four, Sons of Winter, marks a turning point for the series, welcoming back TellTale’s ability to tell a story while engrossing the player, but it’s not without it’s faults. By the time Sons of Winter rolls around, the core cast of characters all have their defined goals, traits and ideals. Each story arc has a distinct tone in keeping with themes often covered in both the books and the TV show. Family values, honour, responsibility, tradition all continue to play key parts in each respective character’s story. The theme of revenge remains prevalent throughout Sons of Winter, only this time it comes into conflict with the concept of a ‘the greater good’. Sons of Winter is much more direct episode in the series, with the action coming at a steady pace. The constant small talk of the previous episodes is replaced with action scenes and plot progressing interactions. This new found flow allows the episode to feel much more compact, never allowing the player to settle into a lulled sense disenchantment. The storyline around the Forrester/Whitehall stand off benefits most of the change of pace, becoming a much more engrossing tale. The conversations between key characters carries much more weight than initial episodes. The lack of small talk frees characters, allowing them to command a presence in their respective scenes. Both Mira and Rodrik Forrester’s once staggered stories are now a interesting mix of political intrigue and intense tension. Rodrik in particular shines thanks to a number of intense stand offs and decisions. Mira’s section is a much more subtle affair, akin to her character. Her weapons are not physical, but verbal, as she adopts to the game of lies played across Kings Landing.   Asher plays a pivotal part in Sons of Winter, presenting some genuinely interesting back-story and filler during events shown in the TV series. His continued tale of avenging his family leads him to running into Daenerys Targaryen on the even of her conquest of Meereen. While the TV series featured the outcome of her conquest, Sons of Winter shows the beginning with Asher and Beskha on the front line. The simmering tension between the two friends continues to boil, with Beskha growing increasingly frustrated with Asher’s willingness to obey others. The relationship between the two characters becomes to focal point for the episode, with one of them revealing some genuinely interesting back story. As ever, one story is sacrificed in terms of how much spot light they receive. Gared’s exploits at The Wall are significantly cut down, leaving his story to be left in the dust. His section mostly consists of quick time combat events, with one or two minor interactions in between. In truth, the Gared storyline was starting to lose it’s momentum during episode three, that momentum is essential dead by the close of Sons of Winter. Telltale have almost written themselves into failure with Gared’s quest to reach the grove. His story feels slightly hoakey when compared to the deadly game of wits and brawn present in the other Forester family tales. The main issues Sons of Winter suffers can be found in the shape of the inclusion of the Queen of Dragons. Her demeanor is jarringly hostile, nothing like her appearances in the TV series. Her inclusion in the episode feels slightly like fan service more than a means to drive the plot. Emilia Clarke’s wooden acting does not help things, but does suit the robotic nature of the character models. TellTale’s engine is seriously showing it’s age now, muddy textures, robotic animation and some utterly bizarre facial movements are the main issues to be found. Sons of Winter is easily the best of the bunch so far, suggesting the series is finally ready to hit it’s hot streak. Compact story telling, interesting revelations and some top notch pacing results in a hugely enjoyable experience. While the games are starting to look aged, the core elements all work together neatly. All of the pieces are in place, with three of the four stories at boiling point, episode five is already looking promising. Engaging, intense and utterly enjoyable, Sons of Winter is everything the last three episodes failed to be....

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

It’s hitting the end of the month, and a lot of people are skint…or least near skint. Fear not, there’s still games to be had at £20 or under, some are even new(ish) releases.   Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin (PS3/360) £19.99 -   While Bloodborne dazzles and frustrates the masses, Dark Souls 2 has crawled out packed with all of it’s DLC. The buzz around From Software has never been so hot, making it the perfect time for them to re-release their past work, even if it’s not as good as their previous creations. £20 buys you a lot of content, the core game will last most people well over 25-30 hours, with the DLC adding even more. Sure it’s hard, sure it’s kinda ugly to look at, but much like a cheap takeaway, it gets the job done.   Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Xbox One £18.35   We all love last generation remakes, but Square went one step further and remastered a PSP game. The Final Fantasy brand has taken a utter lashing these last few years, mostly due to the bizarre dedication Square had to making Final Fantasy 13 ‘work’. Type-0 is one of them odd little spin offs in the franchise, but does supply a nice breath of fresh air. Think Final Fantasy crossed with X-men, and a dash of awful textures, and Type – 0 HD is a pretty decent deal…but most people just want that damn Final Fantasy XV demo. £18.95, down from the £40 quid it launched with a mere few weeks ago, what a drop.   The Order 1886 – £19.95   The game that the internet just can’t stop arguing about. At this point, The Order 1886 has went beyond just being another video game, it’s now a actual focal point for discussion on the topic of modern game design. The game looks, and performs, fantastically, but the gameplay is a little less impressive. It’s a decent game, that most forum posters will either praise as the next coming, or label it the devil. For £19.95 you can play the thing yourself, and make your own mind up.   P.S Buy it, just to spite Angry Joe    ...

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Telltale have been praised for their story telling ability, leading them to take on more ambitious projects. From the emotionally charged The Walking Dead, to the dark crime drama of The Wolf Among Us, Telltale know their craft. Game of Thrones represents Telltales biggest challenge yet, a challenge that Telltale are struggling with. After two episodes of Game of Thrones, the series is still trying to find its vein of form. Episode three, The Sword in the Darkness, signifies a defining point in the series in which the games true faults become clear, and it’s success project.   The Sword in the Darkness begins with Asher’s exploits in Mereen. Still on the run from The Lost Legion, Asher and his crew are forced into taking refuge in a cave, which just so happens to be the make-shift home of one of Game of Throne’s most famous creatures. This connection to the TV show is the first of many, mainly as this episodes catches up to the TV series. Asher, while still possessing a whiff of ‘main character’, is demoted to the supporting cast of episode three, with the main focus being squarely set on The Wall. Gared Tuttle continues to progress on his path to becoming a brother of the Nights Watch, with more ethical and moral dilemmas emerging with each step. Both Asher and Gared walk a similar path, with their stories feeling almost like they’re mirror images of each other, but with their own unique situational issues.   It is fair to say that the respective story lines of Asha and Gared are where the game shines. Both characters offer unique, yet familiar, tones and themes that feel distinctively Game of Thrones. The life of a Crow is is just as bleak here than it is with the show, with both forms conveying the twisted sense of family and loyalty. While Gared is a much more shrewd and humble character, Asher is a brazen and bold force. TellTale have created the same ‘ying-yang’ feel that typifies family relationships in both the book and show, while maintaining a truly organic feel. Politics is one of Game of Thrones primary themes, and episode three revels in this. The Forrester/Whitehill storyline finally starts to pick up momentum. Mira continues to come out of the shadows, earning her place as a pivotal, if not slightly annoying, cog in the overall tale. Most of her time in episode three is spent either being yelled at, or being questioned. While the character does have a true sense of progression, the whole episode feels like it’s taken directly from any given Sansa Stark scene from the TV show during seasons one and two.   While the cloak and dagger may be endearing, there’s often times where the pace just stops dead, only to be picked back up in a clumsy manner. By the time Mira has said played her part, she feels progressed, but limited, arguably the worst character of the core cast. In all the aspects Mira falls short in, Rodrick excels. The Game of Thrones series may only be three episodes in, but so far the choices have felt rather limited and dictated, Rodrick expels this. The crippled, down trodden, but proud, Lord is the series best character. Episode three plays to each and every strength Rodrick possess, with decisions feeling like they genuinely matter, and most importantly, feel like something Rodrick would say or do. Unlike the other characters, Rodrick feels much more original, resulting in his story becoming a unique Game of Thrones experience. With his house in tatters, his lands occupied and his pride battered, Rodrick could be, and should be, the main attraction of the series, and episode three provides a fantastic platform for a brilliant story arc.   Game of Thrones has had a running theme in terms of it’s issues. Technically, the game struggles. The visuals look muddy, animation jolty and the audio tends to bug out. It’s a confusing issues, other TellTale games, mainly Tales from Borderlands, perform and look decent, yet Game of Thrones struggles with each episode. TellTales game engine is showing it’s age, with Game of Thrones exposing all the weakness. Game of Thrones episode three – The Sword In The Darkness is a solid entry, but still not the entry the series needs. Both episodes one and two set the scene, episode three is putting things in motion…but still not providing anything to get all that excited about. Game of Thrones is at crossroads, it needs to start ‘getting to the point’ instead of slowly progressing. Telltale are visibly struggling to craft four different entwining stories, the pace of the game is all over the place, and while episode three may be a slightly better paced, the issue is still present. A good platform for the series to mature into something great, episode three feels like it could be the spark the series needs, but this could all be in vain if episode four turns out to be yet more ‘slow burning’ build up. TellTale will need to be at the top of their game to pull Game of Thrones off, with the flashes of brilliance comes a number of struggles. Episode four could be make or break.        ...

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

A few weeks ago the Video Game Bafta awards resulted in a few raised eye brows, and a lot of angry tweets. Destiny may of been a finical success, but critical it was a mixed bag. With all that in mind, did it deserve to win Bafta’s 2014 Game of The Year award? did finical clout topple quality? was the negative reaction justified? Here’s a video of some youtubers lying about what Destiny is, even though one of them heavily criticized the game, but BAFTA don’t seem to mind using him to forward the nomination…for some reason. While the Bafta awards have always been a bit questionable, Kane & Lynch being nominated before it’s release stands out, tonight’s were a mixed bag. There were a number of games that deservedly won , while others lost out in what can only be described as a sponsored win (yes, this means Far Cry 4 beating The Banner Saga for best music). The biggest award is, of course, the ‘Game of the Year’ award. In a category consisting of Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mario Kart 8, Shadow of Morder, Monument Valley and Destiny, it was Bungie/ Activisons DLC catalogue that came out on top. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. It made no sense, but then again, most of the video game BAFTA awards rarely do. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. Twitter reacted in the best way it knows how, with snarky tweets. The reaction isn’t exactly unjustified. After years of development, and mammoth budget, Destiny shipped as half a game. No match making, end game locked less grouped with friends, no real end game to speak of, small amount of PvP maps and chunks of story simply missing. Destiny, while it did play beautifully, was half baked. To make things worse, retail copies came with two flyers advertising the first two £20 expansion packs, making the lack of core content all the m ore frustrating. Bafta’s credibility has been questionable for sometime, and 2015′s awards is a perfect example of why. On what planet does Far Cry 4 beat The Banner Saga for best video game music? A corporate planet. The award success of Destiny makes even little sense when compared to the critical success of games surrounding it. Each category is judged by a different panel, mostly made of people within the industry from various fronts. It would be interesting to here the justification for Destiny being the chosen game of the year. While Destiny did well commercial, critical it was hit or miss. If sales determine quality, then surely the winners would look totally different since the video game Baftas started?   Back in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 scooped Baftas Game of the Year award. The reaction to that is pretty much the same as it is to Destiny’s win. The year after that, Call of Duty: Black Ops won the title. Again, the reaction to Call of Duty winning was mostly negative, mainly due to other games out that year. Discussion began to generate, most of it wondering if heavy marketing and sales had trumped quality. For the most part, Bafta has always had a few questionable winners, but Destiny victory has resulted in a particularly vocal response. While of the reactions across the internet, especially Twitter, has been negative mixed with snark, there are a few people who genuinely agree with the choice. Looking at Destiny subjectively, it plays nicely, looks great and is initially enjoyable. While it may suffer from a list of issues, most of which were previously mentioned, does that make it the wrong choice for Game of the year? It all depends on who judged the category. This years nominees were distinctly of the Western variety, with Mario Kart 8 being the only none-Western game nominated. Destiny ticks nearly all the boxes of a big name, Western developed, hit. Large open maps, flashy visuals, constant action, first person shooting, minor RPG elements. It’s the prototypical product of Western video game development. Perhaps tradition and familiarity is what helped Destiny win the award. Alien: Isolation’s hide-and-seek gameplay is to a acquired taste, some may think Mario Kart is too simplistic, Dragon Age too long, Shadow of Morder too much like Assassins Creed. Monument Valley almost felt like the token indie nominee. The sad fact is, we will probably never know why exactly Destiny was selected as the overall winner. Bafta has descended further into the lands of confusion, with big name games winning awards they arguable did not deserve, and perhaps Destiny typifies that more than any other.    ...

All Killer, No Thriller – Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2 Review

All Killer, No Thriller – Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2 Review

*The review for episode 1 can be found here. Each episode will be reviewed individually*   The second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a different beast from the first. Where the first episode laid on atmosphere, tension, and some minor survival horror tones, the second episode goes all guns blazing. From start, to finish, episode 2 is much more bullet ridden than the first. The issue is, Revelations 2 isn’t exactly sure what it wants to be, and episode 2 is a perfect example of this. Episode 2 sheds more light on the plot, as well as bringing new weapons and enemies to the series. The plot points are far and few between, but there’s enough to keep the story progressing, keeping the player interested. Both Barry and Claire’s campaign feature new enemy types. These new enemies are nothing more than a pain, mostly due to their mechanics. It’s not that it adds to the challenge of the game, instead, they just frustrate by slowing the game down. This frustration is found in abundance when playing episode 2. The game can never quite make it’s mind up to what it’s trying to be. The erratic nature of the game leaves the whole experience lopsided. From being rushed by multiple enemies, to suddenly finding the pace of the game reduced to a almost stand still. The issue is also reflected in the amount of ammo and herbs dropped throughout the game. More often than not, the player will find themselves drastically understocked , making a number of encounters drag on due to the sheer number of enemies. The constant barrage of action, mixed with some pace killing enemies, results in the whole experience feeling off. Both Claire and Barry run into situations that require co-op actions. These situations don’t feel organic in the slightest. The sole purpose for the co-op sections is purely to remind the player that their companion exists, even if they are under utilized throughout episode 2. Series fans will be happy to know episode 2 welcomes back boss battles, two of them to be exact. Both encounters require little in terms of skill, instead relying on the players sense of spacial awareness. Neither of the bosses provide much of a challenge. Hit and run makes up 99% of each battle, with the 1% consisting of evading the odd attack. The inclusion of the battles is welcomed, resulting in hopes for more interesting boss encounters in the future. Revelations: Episode 2 is solid enough, but staggers to maintain the level it’s predecessor set. While it does progress the plot, with a genuinely intriguing ending, the overall experience is mixed. The stop/start nature of the pace is jarring, often resulting in any player immersion fading away. The new enemy types do little to improve the game, only adding unnecessary frustration. One of the oddest traits of episode 2 is the way it treats supporting characters. Showing up for only a few minutes, then reappearing at random, they almost feel utterly pointless. The series still has plenty of promise, but this promise is worthless unless the game finds it’s feet. Firmly in the shadow of it’s predecessor, episode 2 is simply adequate.  ...

The Best Of February: Monsters & Cooking Cats

The Best Of February: Monsters & Cooking Cats

February was a pretty decent month of video game releases. The 3DS enjoyed two major releases, while the consoles welcomed Dying Light. The PS4 ushered in it’s new exclusive IP The Order 1886, mental reviews included. One of the biggest surprises of February, was the quality of downloadable games released. Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 was surprisingly good, and a utter steal at £5. Hand of Fate may have been flawed, but the creativity of it’s concept is worthy of respect…and investment. Normally I’d only select one game as my ‘game of the month’ but truth be told, everything that came out in February was worth checking out. There is one game that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and another unfairly treated by some media outlets.   The Order 1886:   A few months back, I suggested that The Order 1886 would be a case of visuals over gameplay. I was never scathing towards the game, it was more of a case of curiosity. The Order 1886 is exactly that, it’s a curiosity. While some sites (mostly big ones that rated broken games highly) would have you believe The Order is a ‘bad’ game, the truth is, it’s just average. It’s average, at least in terms of it’s dated gameplay, it’s perfectly serviceable but utterly stuck in it’s ways. The technical achievement of The Order 1886 are pure brilliance. While the likes of InFamous: Second Son and Ryse look great, The Order 1886 looks real. The way characters moved, the way their eyes and facial expressions projected their emotions, it all felt organic. The sheer detail in each and every part of The Order 1886 is staggering, bar the lack of reflective surfaces. I enjoyed The Order 1886, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The universe is genuinely interesting, with a ton of potential, the world is beautifully grim. The story may have been a little on the predicable side, with a hollow ending, but it’s satisfying. Even with my enjoyment of the game, I have to judge it fairly. The Order 1886 has it’s issues, but it’s far from a bad game. Short, enjoyable, and the first in a series with a lot of promise.   Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate:   Oh my, this isn’t just the best game out in February, it might just be one of the best games on the 3DS. With a improved single player, that also gives new players a more detailed starting point, Monster Hunter 4U is brilliant. Gather, plan, equip, hunt. The concept is simple, the devil is in the detail. On the surface, Monster Hunter 4U looks like a button masher, but it’s much more than that. Monster Hunter 4U has a hidden depth, it’s a pure depth which rewards skill rather than investment. Each weapon type alters the gameplay, they all offer a unique experience. The magic in Monster Hunter 4U is mastering a weapon, feeling a genuine sense of personal skill progression, rather than a number increasing on a stat screen.   I could honestly gush over how good the game is for days, but even than I’d be doing it a disservice. The newly added online multiplayer works like a charm, no lag and barely any connection issues in sight. Teaming up with three other hunters to take on huge creatures is thrilling, every single damn time. In a month where a games length has been questioned, Monster Hunter 4U offer hundreds of hours of play. After years of creeping into the West, Monster Hunter 4U has seemingly been the game to truly break into the territory. The only genuine fault Monster Hunter 4U has is a lack of voice chat, and it’s the ONLY fault. A masterpiece, a modern classic, February’s best game and maybe, just maybe, the 3DS’s best game....

Battlefield Hardline & Final Fantasy Type – 0 Discounted Among Other Titles At Zavvi.com

Battlefield Hardline & Final Fantasy Type – 0 Discounted Among Other Titles At Zavvi.com

As per every Monday, UK retailer Zavvi are running their Mega Monday sale.   The 24 hour sales includes a range of items from video games to memorabilia. This Monday contains a few deals worth looking at including: Final Fantasy Type – 0 (XB1/PS4) – £30.98 Xbox One (white) console with Sunset Overdrive – £279.99 Drive Club: Special Edition (PS4) – £29.98 Samurai Warriors 4 – Anime Edition (PS4) – £19.98 Battlefield Hardline – (XB1/PS4) – £39.98 Pre-order DMC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition – (XB1/PS4) £22.98   Zavvi are currently running a 2 for £40 offer on ‘Next gen games’. The choice is a little small but the following titles stand out:   Child of Light – Deluxe edition: Short, but a beautifully relaxed video game experience. Strong art style and great soundtrack are note worthy   The Wolf Among Us – TellTales lesser known success story, but arguably more interesting game.   Lords of the Fallen – Dark Souls style effort that may not be a total success, but it’s enjoyable in it’s own right  ...

A Solid Start, Ending The Rot – Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 Review

A Solid Start, Ending The Rot – Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 Review

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1 feels like the game Resident Evil 6 should, and wanted to be. The episodic approach to Revelations 2 isn’t just another experimental move by Capcom, but a beneficial move for the sake of game. Filled with fan service, references and the positive elements of the original, Revelations 2 is a curious step in the right direction. For £5, Episode 1 is two hours of setting up the rest of the series. Franchise familiars Claire Redfield and Barry Burton both feature, both of them with their own experience and gameplay style. Diverting away from the awful fire fights featured in Resident Evil 6, Revelations takes a much more subdued approach to it’s gameplay. Claire’s portion of the game is a slow burning affair, with less ammo and fire arms available to her. Barry is armed to the teeth from the get go. While his sections may be more action orientated, there’s still a degree of vulnerability lurking. There’s a distinct difference in both respective sections, giving the game a genuinely varied experience that consistently remains enjoyable. Both parts of Revelations 2 feature co-op mechanics. Claire is accompanied by Moira Burton (yes, THAT Burton) while Barry teams with a young child named Natalia. Both newcomers have their own unique uses that feed into the tone of their sections. Moira, as a result of the plot, only wields a crowbar and flash light. Natalia possess the ability to see enemies through walls, alerting Barry to their presence, as well as crawling into small spaces.   The co-op nature of the game is the weakest element of Revelations 2, at least as far as Claire’s part goes. Moira, as a character, is utterly insufferable thanks to a mixture of weak writing, voice acting and a annoying personality. Her constant whining and f-bombs grinds throughout the entire time the player is with her. Moira’s self proclaimed roles of ‘torch holder’ and ‘door opener’, make the character feel a little pointless. It’s utterly bizarre when a character’s main role is to point a torch at something.She does posses some usefulness in the shape of her ability to stun enemies by blinding them. Natalia is much less of burden. There’s a clear relationship developing between both her and Barry, giving the game a little touch of humanity. Her abilities of pointing out enemies, and crawling into small spaces, give her a legitimate place within the game. There’s something sinister behind the character that’s hinted at, obviously setting up plot point to be revealed in later episodes.   The biggest issue with the co-op focus is the AI and mechanics. Switching between characters can be down with a button press. The problem is, when the player switches characters, it often leaves their past choice frozen on the spot for a few seconds. It’s a issue that rears it’s head towards the later stages of Claire’s section. A few nagging issues with AI running into enemy attacks also make a cameo from time to time. When in control of Moira or Natalia, who both lack any real ranged attack, the AI tends do little. Claire and Barry, when controlled by the AI, will stare into space, or trot around in circles. Even when the relevant skills have been unlocked, the AI is near useless in a combat setting. The ease of switching between characters does curve the majority of frustration thankfully. Underneath the core gameplay is a skills system. Players earn points by their how well they perform in-game, as well as collecting items dotted around the levels. Skills range from improving the healing factors of herbs, improved weapon and ability damage, among a few other curious enhancements. It’s not exactly an essential addition, but it does add a little bit of welcomed depth and customization. Revelations 2 – Episode 1 does a fairly decent job of placing the player in a interesting setting. The prison island provides for some challenging encounters, most of which carry that classic Resident Evil feel. The level design is similar to that of the tight, dark spaces of the first Revelations. The chaotic nature of Resident Evil 6′s level design is a long distant memory.   It’s fair to say Capcom have successfully implemented the best of Revelations enemies into the follow up. From slow traditional zombies, to more aggressive La Plaga variants, there’s decent range of threats to encounter. The slower enemies do tend to run into a few issues when it comes to movement. Getting caught on the environment seems to be a growing trend towards the end act of Barry’s segments. While it’s not a major issue, it does detract from the players immersion, cheapening the atmosphere. By the time the two hour episode is over, there’s very little of the plot revealed. Beyond a few minor hints, the plot remains distant, allowing for the characters to be firmly established. It would be harsh to criticize Revelations 2 for it’s plot so early into the series, it is episode one after all. From what is shown, and previewed via the ending, there’s promise within the story, albeit a typically Resident Evil plot.   Replay value comes in the form of ‘Raid mode’, a Mercenaries like mode that’s surprisingly well crafted. Players choose a character, their gear and a set of skills, before being deployed into the field. Raid mode is a nifty run through multiple levels, gunning down enemies left, right and centre. Each enemy rewards the player with experience, allowing them to purchase more skills for their character. New weapons can be found across the map, allowing players to further customize their load-out. The mode is pretty basic, but hugely satisfying. There’s a odd sense of progression at the core of each run, even more so when beefier weapons are found and equipped. Much like Mercenaries before it, Raid Mode feels like it could become Resi’s next big mini-game. For a game released on both current generation and last, Revelations 2 hold up fairly well in terms of presentation. While there is a lack of detail in parts, the visuals on the whole are decent. Enemies provide gory imagery, with decent amount of detail on show. Human character models are adequate but look slightly robotic at times. The environments, at least indoors, look good enough to carry the brooding tones. Outdoors, the game struggles to look as slick. Rocks and trees have a noticeable lack of detail compared to the rest of the world, but this is merely nit picking. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1 is fine starting point for the series. Solid gameplay, decent production values , allow the game to blossom into a enjoyable bite sized experience. Capcom have managed to dial in their efforts into a much more precise experience, avoiding the messy nature of Resident Evil 6. With all the traits of the first Revelations present, a long with some improvement, Revelations 2 could just be the next big Resident Evil. It’s just a shame there’s no offline co-op. For £5, it’s hard to find reasons not to at least try Episode 1. The Raid Mode is genuinely great, the core experience is solid, with a promise of more to come as the series goes on. Capcom have seemingly found their feet once more. The nose dive in quality the Resident Evil franchise has suffered, it finally seems to be over.  ...

Vote With Your Wallets: The Threat Of DLC

Vote With Your Wallets: The Threat Of DLC

The great thing about the internet, or the worst, is everyone has a voice. Every single last person has the freedom to say exactly what they want to say. This has changed how businesses make,market and sell their products. The consumer has changed how they buy products, all because everyone now has a voice and digital soap box to stand upon. The video game industry knows all of it’s customers, and potential customers, have a voice…and it’s normally pretty damn vocal. The video game community/culture is never afraid to say exactly what they think about video games, consoles or any of the people within the industry. No one, and nothing, is immune to criticism, it’s pretty nifty. When it comes to video games, people’s voices are heard loudly, and often. The problem is, these voices only go so far, and it’s not far enough to force change.   The rise of DLC and pre-order extras has created such a dangerous form that it’s slowly becoming a ticking time bomb. A full retail price no longer gets you a full game, far far from it. Games like Destiny and Evolve are examples of how video games are going into a awful direction. It’s a direction that’s bad news for you, for me, and for anyone else who has a interest in video games. Serving as little more than a bare bones games, with a catalogue of DLC, they lack content and value. ”£44.99 please” is often followed by ” would you like to buy the season pass for £15.99?” A season pass? What is a season pass exactly? I’ve just bought the game, surely I have all the content on offer at the moment? Well not exactly. In the case of Destiny, you bought half a game, with the rest of the game being sold to you as DLC for the price of… £19.99. Destiny was hacked up, torn apart, and separated like a Cow on a butchers board.   Destiny highlighted the dangers of DLC and greed. The core Destiny package lacked basic features, it actively locked a decent sized segment of it’s players out of content. Add to that, the lack of story and content on the whole, and what your left with is a bit of a game. The sad fact is Bungie/Activison weren’t even subtle about their plans. Open up the case of Destiny and boom, promo material for DLC and season passes. The fact that Destiny was a commercial, and critical, success is bad news for everyone bar it’s developer and publisher. Never before has a game been pulled apart in such a way, all to support DLC. To make things even more sticky, Destiny limited it’s content even further, depending on what system you played it on.   Evolve is yet another game that heavily abuses DLC. There’s a basic game there, but there’s also a ton of DLC dangling in front of the player. What can you really expect from a game that announces its pre-order DLC before the actual game is announced? There’s that many DLC packs for Evolve, it’s a genuine challenge to understand exactly what your money gets. Season passes, a truck full of skins, characters and monsters all neatly packed behind a pay wall…prior to release. If Destiny is a worry sign of things to come, Evolve is the problem right in your face. The problem is, yet again, the game is being received well by critics, some of which barely mention the volume of content locked away. User reviews have been less favorable, with most of the criticism being aimed squarely at the DLC and the lack of content NOT hidden behind a pay wall.   This is why everyone having a voice is a great thing. The customers can have their say, they can tell potential customers the truth, the flaws. The public are not stuck behind ‘review guides’ nor do they have to keep advertisers sweet like so many popular sites. The consumer, the blogger, the independent Youtuber, even the person twitter, they can tell you unfiltered thoughts. A voice and a opinion is not enough however. This is where the old saying ‘Vote with your wallets’ comes into play. It’s pointless criticising the bull shit video game consumer have to put up with if you still buy the product. Buying into these glorified DLC catalogues, makes them a success. The publisher rakes in the money and sees a new vein to mine. The video game industry, at the moment, is the only industry that constantly finds new ways to fuck over their customers. Penny pinching at every turn, trying to make you pay more, for less.   The good old ‘Season Pass’ is one of the oddest creations of late. It’s a concept that sounds good on paper, but is rarely anything decent when put into practice. Pay X amount of DLC…often unknown, often never detailed, just promises. Where else in life would you throw up £15.99 – £20 for something that the seller can’t even tell you about? The chances are if you open up a modern game, you’ll find a flyer for a season pass. The only way to halt this behavior is to stop buying the products. Supporting the process, while denouncing it, does nothing. These business practices are no longer taking the odd weapon skin away from games, it’s taking huge chucks of playable content away. Evolve is missing monster types, games like Destiny, Evil Within, Watchdogs, Thief and Far Cry 4 are missing content…all sold as DLC/pre-order incentives. It’s getting to the point where a ‘Triple A’ release requires a spreadsheet to display what each versions offers. DLC, Season passes, pre-order incentives, retail exclusives pre-order extras, it’s all gone mad. Buying a game is no longer that, you’re often buying just part of a game. Leaving a thumbs down on a trailer, posting a negative comment, it’s not enough any more. Vote with your wallets.       Side note – If you’re happy to support DLC practices like the one’s mentioned in this post, that’s fine.     second side note – Destiny plays well, and has a good game at it’s heart…just the goodness is covered in DLC...

So How About That Resident Evil 2 HD Remastering?

So How About That Resident Evil 2 HD Remastering?

With the news that Resident Evil HD Remastered is the fastest selling Digital game, it’s only natural questions about Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered are asked. Capcom have done some pretty vile things to the Resident Evil franchise, but the HD Remastering of the original is pure gold. It reminds us of why Resident Evil became such a favourite, such a memorable classic. Capcom seemed quite open to releasing Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered, as long as the fans wanted it. How could the fans show their desire? Well that’s simple, make Resident Evil HD Remastered a success, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Capcom, the ball is in your court. Not only does remastering Resident Evil 2 HD make sense financially, but it would also shed positive light on a fleeting franchise. Resident Evil has pretty much been beaten from pillar to post, soaking in some serious brand damage. No longer is the franchise seen as the powerhouse it was once, it’s more of stumbling mess these days.  If Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered replicated, if not surpassed, the success of it’s predecessor, then attention would turn towards Resident Evil Nemesis. Three remastered greats, supplying the gameplay the franchise has been lacking for some years now. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool, it’s safe to see any future remastered releases would do fairly at the very least. If we were to go all out with a theory, a retail box set of Remastered Resident Evil games would be a fine thing indeed. Resident 1, 2, 3 and the under appreciated Zero, all of them would make a brilliant retail/online bundle. This is of course nothing but wishful thinking, but surely Capcom have at least entertained the idea. Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered feels like a certainty at this point. Capcom have discovered a goldmine, a goldmine that also pleases the fans.        ...

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